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Dhaula Kuan rapists get life term, slammed as beasts

Author: Sana Shakil, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: October 21, 2014
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Dhaula-Kuan-rapists-get-life-term-slammed-as-beasts/articleshow/44893318.cms

Describing the five convicts in the Dhaula Kuan gangrape case of 2010 as psychopaths and beasts who should be kept away from society as long as possible, a trial court on Monday sentenced them to life imprisonment. A BPO executive from the north-east returning home was the victim in the case. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on each convict, directing them to pay it to the survivor as compensation.

The verdict was pronounced in a jampacked courtroom amidst high drama with one convict, Shahid, fainting. Some relatives of the others broke down, describing the verdict delivered by additional sessions judge Virender Bhat as miscarriage of justice.

 The five men — Shamshad alias Khutkan, Usman alias Kale, Shahid alias Chhota Billi, Iqbal alias Bada Billi and Kamruddin alias Mobile — from the Mewat region of Haryana were also sentenced to seven years imprisonment for abducting the woman and five years rigorous imprisonment for criminal intimidation. The jail terms will run concurrently.

The judge pointed out that the five men were married and had children at the time of incident but that did not deter them from committing the crime which he described as grave, serious and odious. Stating that the convicts deserve no leniency, the court said they had behaved like beasts and "were on the prowl, looking for a prey to satiate their sexual lust."

 Dwelling on the trauma of the woman, the judge said a "rape victim has to live with the scar of rape throughout her life and the incident shatters her life as well as her dreams in a violent manner". He recalled the ordeal of the survivor who had to leave Delhi and a well-paying job after the incident. The woman, who was earning a good salary in the capital, had to go back to her native place in Mizoram where she is struggling to make both ends meet by running a shop, said the court.

The judge said the convicts were a threat to society and had no regard for the honour and dignity of women. He refused to show any leniency on account of their family responsibilities and poor financial condition, arguing that taking a sympathetic view would be counter-productive in the long run and against the greater interest of society. He said society looks upon rape with utmost "indignation" and abhorrence and expects the perpetrators to be dealt with sternly. "The courts while sentencing an offender cannot ignore the impact of the crime on society and the society's expectations from the court in dealing with such criminals. In other words, imposition of a sentence without considering its effect on the social order would be a futile exercise," the judge said.

 The convicts were present in the courtroom when the sentence was pronounced. As soon as the court delivered the verdict, the convicts broke down and started sobbing. Minutes after the judge left his seat, one of them, Shahid, began trembling and asked for a chair. Within minutes, he collapsed with lawyers sprinkling water on his face. After he failed to regain consciousness, he was rushed to the dispensary by policemen.

When the family members waiting outside the court saw Shahid being taken away, they started wailing and cursing the investigating officer, media personnel and policemen present there. "They have killed our son. Now without him what is left of our lives? They have ruined us," shouted Mujhaid, a relative of Shahid, before being pushed back by the policemen.

The prosecution, which had sought maximum punishment for the convicts, welcomed the judgment while the defence said they would soon file an appeal in the Delhi high court. The defence counsel had sought minimum punishment for the convicts on grounds of long custodial period, family responsibilities and poor financial condition.

On October 14, the court had convicted the five accused, relying on the survivor's testimony and DNA report. The five men were held guilty of abducting the woman, who was from the north-east, on November 24, 2010, and gang-raping her. The woman was walking home with a friend after her shift ended. The abductors took her to Mangolpuri, gang-raped her and left her at an isolated spot. The men were later arrested from Mewat in Haryana. Following the incident, Delhi Police ordered all BPOs in Delhi and rest of NCR to drop women employees home after their shift ended.
 
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